Why so many new flats in Ipswich?

IPSWICH is THE place to be, for property investors this year. Property reporter REBECCA LEFORT investigates the changing face of Suffolk's county town and brings you right up to date.

IPSWICH is THE place to be, for property investors this year. Property reporter REBECCA LEFORT investigates the changing face of Suffolk's county town and brings you right up to date.

OURS is a town on the up.

That is the message today from the men charged with bringing new and vibrant developments to the town, which they believe will help boost the economy, the community and the standard of living for nearly everyone.

The drive to build new houses and flats is continuing rapidly across many areas of Ipswich, not just the Waterfront.

Mike Smith, head of planning at the borough council, said: “These developments are fantastic news for Ipswich.

“We are currently building around 1,000 new homes in the town every year, but would like to increase this number if we can. A lot of the developments near the town centre are sustainable because they encourage people to walk to work or use public transport rather than drive, and that is something that we consider carefully with planning applications now, the emphasis has shifted dramatically from 20 years ago.

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“And there clearly is more demand for more flats as they keep getting bought as soon as they are built. “For us it's just frustrating we can't do it fast enough.”

And Mr Smith stressed that it was not just well-off commuters who were benefiting from the projects.

He said: “People need somewhere to live and if they (commuters) didn't live in the new flats they would be living in other, older flats, used more by local people, and driving up those prices and making it really difficult for poorer people to find homes.

“And because the new homes bring with them people with money that brings more money to the town as you can see because more restaurants and bars are being built in those areas.

“It has created a great new area and pumped more money back into the town.”

There is also a lot of buy-to-let being sold in Ipswich, because many first-time buyers can't afford to get on the property ladder so there is more demand for rental properties.

And James Hehir chief executive of the council agreed that new homes meant new opportunities for the town. He said: “We really want to put Ipswich on the map and it is doing so well in so many ways.

“It is a really exciting time to be involved with the town.

“We are keen to still bring even more developments and there are still many sites than can be built on effectively.

“The more investment there is in Ipswich the better it is for everyone who lives here.”

Weblink: www.ipswich.gov.uk

Did you know? Ipswich was named the top place to invest, by the national Property Investor Show last July.

The new high-tech website called Homes24, helps make all aspects of buying or renting a home in the county, or beyond, as easy as possible.

You can access the details of thousands of houses, as well as organising a viewing through the click of a button.

James Goffin, the Evening Star's web editor, said: “This is a massive advancement in the service we can offer. For the first time it brings together properties not just from Suffolk but across the country, joining up with our sister titles.

“The new website also provides much more information about all the properties than we ever had before including details of local schools and hospitals so it is helpful for making sure you've got the best property for getting your children into the school you want. You can also find out more about the area that you might be moving to and there are multiple pictures so you get a better feel for the property from the comfort of your own home. And estate agents can even add videos if they want to because the technology we have now is so good.”

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